Please see the most current information below regarding UNICOR. The FY04 procedures will not change for FY05 and beyond.
Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2001-21, which became effective on March 26, 2004, modifies the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 8.6, Acquisition from Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (FPI). This FAC implements the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004, Division F, Section 637 (P.L. 108-199). It states that when using FY 2004 funds for the purchase of a product or service offered in the FPI (also known as UNICOR) Schedule, the purchasing agency must first conduct market research to determine that the product or service does not exceed current market prices and provides the best value to the buying agency. This procedure is applicable to all purchases using FY2004 appropriated funds, regardless of the mechanism, where the total exceeds $2,500. You are encouraged to read the full text of FAR 8.6. Below are the key steps to be followed.
If the FPI item is not comparable in one or more of the areas of price, quality, and time of delivery, acquire the item through competitive procedures found in FAR 6.102, set-aside procedures found in FAR 19.5, or simplified acquisition competition procedures found in FAR 13. Include FPI in the solicitation process and consider a timely offer from FPI for award in accordance with the requirements and evaluation factors in the solicitation.
When placing an order under a multiple award delivery order contract, follow the fair opportunity procedures in FAR 16.505. When using a multiple award schedule issued under the procedures in FAR 8.4 or the fair opportunity procedures in FAR 16.505, establish and communicate to FPI the requirements and evaluation factors that will be used as the basis for selecting a source so that a timely offer from FPI can be evaluated on the same basis as the contract or schedule holder.